The University of Wolverhampton, UK and EOS GmbH, Krailling, and AMCM GmbH, Starnberg, Germany, have announced that they will be launching a new UK Centre of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing. The partnership will provide access to technology from EOS and AMCM, specialising in the development of advanced materials and processes for demanding applications within industries such as space, automotive, aerospace, electronics, and quantum computing.

Partially funded by the UK’s Regional Innovation Fund (RIF), the centre will be based in the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills (ECMS) at the University of Wolverhampton’s Springfield Campus. The centre is intended to be a hub for knowledge exchange and research commercialisation activities, catering to local, regional, and global customers in a wide range of sectors.

The University of Wolverhampton’s Additive Manufacturing Research Group and its spin-off company, Additive Analytics, will lead material and process development activities. Industries ranging from automotive and electronics to quantum computing and aerospace are already expressing interest, highlighting the broad applicability of copper AM for thermal management and electrification, due to its exceptional thermal and electrical properties.

Whilst copper has desirable properties, it is challenging to laser process it, hindering its widespread adoption in Additive Manufacturing. The work of the consortium aims to address this by leveraging technologies, processes, and expertise to drive efficiency and reduce material waste.

Building on the University of Wolverhampton’s twenty-year relationship with EOS machines, the new Centre of Excellence will be bolstered by the adoption of an AMCM 290 FLX Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) AM machine capable of processing challenging materials such as copper. The AMCM 290 FLX is a customised EOS M 290 machine equipped with nLIGHT beam shaping laser technology, high-temperature processing capabilities and high oxygen control.

Professor Arun Arjunan, director of the ECMS and Centre for Engineering Innovation and Research at the University of Wolverhampton, said, “The establishment of the UK Centre of Excellence for copper AM marks a significant milestone in Additive Manufacturing, setting the stage for a new era of innovation, sustainability, and responsible manufacturing. Future projects will investigate the integration of laser process data and machine learning, and artificial intelligence technologies for efficient material and laser process development.”

“The UK manufacturing sector has always pushed forward and embraced innovation,” stated Nathan Rawlings, Sales Manager at EOS UK. “Additive Manufacturing with materials such as copper offers huge benefits for product designers, but they can be demanding for manufacturers to work with. This new Centre of Excellence will create and test the processes that enable material benefits to be reliably and consistently realised in real-world manufacturing component manufacturing.”

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